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California is a wonderful wine-producing part of the world. It benefits from all the key components needed to produce remarkable wines - long, warm days tempered by brisk oceanic breezes, amazingly fertile soils rich with minerality, and fascinating microclimates that add a level of diversity to each vineyard. It also possesses something distinctly American, too, something which sets it apart from other wine regions of the world: a sense of pioneering bravery and willingness to experiment and throw away the rulebook. It is this sense of freedom and refusal to be tied down to a particular spot or set of regulations that makes wineries such as Canyon Road so special and effective, and this particular winery has seen a lot of success since its inception due to an openness to take the best of what is available, and set about making great wines from it.
Canyon Road winery was set up by Christopher Munsell and Ondine Chattan, two people with one common goal in mind: to make fine, Californian wine something accessible for all, and something which everyone can enjoy at their dinner table. They claim they want to make great Californian wine part of every American’s dining experience, and are going about this mission by producing wines with a wide appeal that are both approachable yet complex, subtle yet recognisable Californian. They own one hundred and forty acres of vineyards, scattered across the breezy Northern Californian coastline, and have scoured the land looking for the right grapes they need to make their characterful wines.
Munsell and Chattan work closely with a wide range of farmers in this region, making sure the grapes they select are the perfect representation of the terroir they care so deeply about. The wines produced by Canyon Road are primarily blended wines, and they are interested in finding that perfect balance, that ideal level of roundness, body and flavor which expresses both the land and their vision as they see it. Unlike other blended wines, Canyon Road like to establish their blend before ageing it (instead of ageing the wine of each varietal first, before constructing the blend). This technique has allowed them to put together a series of signature blends which have been celebrated for their smoothness and length, and for their well-integrated character.